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Hydro-static snow blower???


GregH's Avatar
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01-29-06, 11:03 AM   #1  
Hydro-static snow blower???

Realizing my kids have moved out for good it's time to get a snow thrower.

One I have been looking at is a Sears model that is hydrostatic drive.
I only have heard of this in riding mowers in yard equipment and wonder if this is something new or have I been in the bush too long?
Are they any good?

Click image:
<img src="http://image.sears.ca/icat/52/46/713852469.fpx?cell=230&cvt=jpeg">
Image credit: sears.ca


GregH.........HVAC/R Tech

 
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puey61's Avatar
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01-30-06, 03:03 AM   #2  
I've heard they'll be coming out for about 3 years now but have yet to see one. I believe they'll be a good thing, but again, I've yet to see one in an application.

 
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01-30-06, 03:27 AM   #3  
Ya, I agree that it COULD be good........but.
The hydro drive model with a Briggs engine is $400.00 more than the comparable standard drive with a Tecumseh on it.

Considering this is a new model that could have bugs and the fact that I have a really loooooong driveway where there will not be many gear changes, I think I just might pass on this model.


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01-30-06, 04:25 AM   #4  
One other thing I now little about is the practical difference between the Briggs 9.5 hp Intek OHV engine and the Tecumseh 9 hp Snow King.
This snow blower will have to work quite hard considering my driveway is around 250 feet long with a turning circle and parking spots.

I have no prejudices either way because I have received good service from both Tecumseh and Briggs.
Only thing I will say about my experience with Tecumseh is that I seem to have to tinker with the idle mix on my Coleman 4500 watt generator with a 10 hp Tecumseh. Once it is set though, it runs well and handles any overload I throw at the it.


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02-01-06, 03:03 AM   #5  
Tecumseh snow-application is King. Pardon the pun, but they are the best winter engine available. It is essential to keep the carburetor/fuel system clean on these engines. In order to meet strict emissions regulations being a flat head engine, the carburetors must be lean. Proper in-season and, more importantly, storage time fuel system practices are crucial to ensure good engine performance.

 
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02-02-06, 06:15 AM   #6  
Honda has offered a hydrostatic drive snowblower for many years. My brother has one over 10 years old and he loves it in every way except the handlebars are too low (he's 6'-5" tall) But he paid something close to $2000 for it new back-in-the-day, so I have no idea what they sell for now, except it's gonna be a LOT more than the Sears machine.

 
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02-02-06, 07:58 AM   #7  
250' long and your going to snow blow it? you've got alot of time and energy, I say this since I've been in the snow removal business for quite a few years and loath snow blowers, but that's what I apy the help for

anyways, have you checked into getting a bid from a small time joe to take care of this, typically this snow removal business has become cut throat and the smaller "hanyman" types can typically do your drives for $20-$25, your may be in hte $30 range though as big as it is. Figure how much money your going to invest in a quality snow blower and divide that by average rate to have it cleaned and it may be very competative to have it done by outsourcing-best part is you get to drink coffee looking out your window while the poor snow blower guy gets covered in snow spray

just a different view to consider...especailly with the lack of snow fall over the pst few years. Dec was a big one last year, but have'nt been out since...billed for 4 pushes is all and that works big time in home owners favor. They're predicting next winter to be even less snow fall than this year's...would make it hurt having a $1500-2000 machine sitting idle taking up space in the garage to only use a few times a year.

 
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02-02-06, 02:35 PM   #8  
Well, I agree that a snowblower is not always the best option but I have a few issues that make some of your suggestions difficult to do.
I have several people available to clear snow for me but the layout of my place is such that unless I want a mess in the spring with piles near the house, or piles blocking sheds and stuff, it becomes too costly for a owner/operator to do this for me.
I also have "things" about the place that could be hidden if the operator doesn't know where foreign objects are.
The guy I hired last year to clear for me, piled snow against the temporary shelter and broke a rib!
My driveway can be best described as a narrow country lane and is too narrow to use a truck mounted plow. There is a limit to how far you can plow in a straight ahead direction.
Besides, I believe it is really hard on the truck and I'm too lazy to repair the damage I do plowing snow.

I am currently borrow/renting a 4wd loader/backhoe and depending on the favor trading situation either pay a couple of hundred bucks for a days use or use up a favor and get it for free.
I would much prefer to jump in a machine than operate a blower but in all honesty I think if you consider how long it takes me in the loader to move all the snow because there is nowhere to push it, I could likely blow it in the same amount of time.

Hey, I'll find out tonight.
I am going to borrow a snowblower, very close to the one I want to buy so I'll see how long it will actually take.


<img src="http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v611/hal2000/snowpic.jpg">


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02-04-06, 01:43 AM   #9  
Posted By: IHI ///anyways, have you checked into getting a bid from a small time joe to take care of this, typically this snow removal business has become cut throat and the smaller "hanyman" types can typically do your drives for $20-$25, your may be in hte $30 range though as big as it is. Figure how much money your going to invest in a quality snow blower and divide that by average rate to have it cleaned and it may be very competative to have it done by outsourcing-best part is you get to drink coffee looking out your window while the poor snow blower guy gets covered in snow spray
My brothers did just what you suggest. Then the plowing contractor - small joe or big (they tried both) - gets a big storm; his equipment breaks down; he doesn't show up for two or three days; and doesn't call or return calls. Then in the spring you get to replant a half plow-width strip of grass after he plowed over the stakes marking the drive. And ignore the times he plows your driveway after 5" of an 8" storm and doesn't come back; or plows it after a 3" storm that you could have removed with a broom; or the town plow truck puts up a 3 foot high berm of heavy, wet, salty, sandy EOD pile after he's left. Around here (MA) a 250 foot driveway would be more like $40-80 per storm. And you still have to shovel the berm in front of your garage, walkways, sidewalks, around your car, etc, etc.

Snow blowers aren't so expensive that you can't have one and hire a plowing contractor, as 250' probably would be less like fun. Of course, if you live in an area where it doesn't snow that frequently, it wouldn't be a big deal either way.

The current Sears machines are made by AYP and aren't very well regarded. Toro, Ariens and Simplicity all make machines in the US$1,000 to $1,500 range that would handle most drives well. The Hondas are very expensive, but do have a hydrostatic drive and come in both wheeled or tracked versions. Most owners seem happy with them. Something like an Ariens 11528LE and up seems like the class of machine that would git 'er done.

Because we haven't had much snow this year there are some absurdly good deals out there - up to 33% off at the big boxes and 15-20% at some OPE dealers. Last Spring I bought an Ariens ST824 in good condition for $212 locally on eBay and spent about $100 to replace the belts, skids, scraper, friction disc, and tires, so you don't have to spend too much of you are handy or can read an instruction manual. Timing is everything as the same machine in season might go for $350-450.

I have both a B&S Intek Snow 7.5 engine that I replaced a Tecumseh L head with on an old Ariens, and a "classic" L-head 8hp Tecumseh on a newer Ariens. The B&S is superb: powerful, quiet, and easy to start. Simplicity now uses B&S (not surprising since that's who owns them) but Ariens this season started using B&S OHV engines on their machines as well. Some Toro and Ariens models still have the Tecumseh L-head, while others have Tecumseh or B&S OHV engines, so there are more choices but they all seem to work well.

My $312 Ariens....
<img src=http://www.geocities.com/theseventhfirst/ST824_8.jpg>


Last edited by garandman; 02-04-06 at 02:02 AM.
 
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